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The Best Scented Candles for 2021
Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Scented Candles
Before the pandemic, you’d never hear me talking about candles. Granted, I was barely at my house, so those things were never part of my short-lived home-decorating endeavors.
The rise of Pinterest-worthy dens and small home decor shops during the pandemic is no surprise. If we’re going to be stuck at home indefinitely, we might as well make ourselves comfortable. That includes making living areas cozier than ever — and Zoom-background friendly, at that.
I wanted my space to be a safe haven, and adding a few candles here and there instantly created the vibe. They make any space feel more sacred. Lighting a candle is almost like flicking a switch that signals your brain to unwind — whether it’s a floral rose scent, soothing white tea, refreshing sea salt or a bright peach blossom, I’ve burned through different candles in the span of just a few months, all in the name of curating the perfect ambience.
If you haven’t hopped on the trend yet, it’s never too late. Here are the best scented candles in the market that will make you never want to leave the house.
In a Hurry? This is the Best Scented Candle
Candles often serve multiple functions: to make a room smell good and make it look good. The french brand Diptyque makes candles that are perfect both visually and sensually.
Spruce up your living area with their Baies scented candle, an undisputed bestseller, as their website calls it. It’s no surprise, because a quick google search would show you this exact candle on more than one “best of” list.
Personally, I’m not a fan of candles that have an acquired scent. If you’re like me and prefer something that makes a solid first impression, then this is your pick.
We don’t know if it’s the light berry fragrance or the familiar rose notes that make this one a hit, but it’s definitely a group favorite. It’s best for common areas where everyone can enjoy it.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for the Best Scented Candles
Want your candle to burn just a little bit longer? Your wish is our command. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when lighting your favorite scent.
First burn lasts
What often happens with candles is a pool of uneven wax around the edges that never goes away. This is called tunneling, and it occurs when you put the light out before the entire candle surface becomes molten. To avoid this, leave your candle on for around 2-3 hours on the first burn. That way, the wax surface stays nice and even.
Trim the wick
No candle left unattended
Finally, don’t fall asleep or leave your house with a candle still burning somewhere in a corner. You might be tempted to come home to the smell of sandalwood wafting through the doors, but it’s not worth the fire hazard.
Top 10 Best Scented Candles
Let’s Go Over Each Scented Candle
Not all scents are created equal. If you’re looking for a luxurious fragrance that any house guest is bound to love, the Diptyque Baies/Berries is the perfect blend of unfamiliar and inviting.
Turn any indoor living space into a beautiful garden with this candle’s floral notes that feature the scents of blackcurrants and Bulgarian roses.
With 60 hours of burn time in a medium-sized jar, the Baies/Berries makes for the perfect quarantine home accessory and the long-lasting candle you go to when you just want to stop stressing for a while.
I burned through mine quite quickly, and I loved that the wick could be easily trimmed with just your fingers. The scent was also strong enough to cover the smell of food cooking from the room beside it, which I appreciated.
Pros and Cons of the Diptyque Baies/Berries Scented Candle
|✔️ Fruity scents|
✔️ Long burn time
✔️ Room-filling candle
If we’re throwing around luxury names in the candle biz, you simply can’t forget Le Labo. The high-end brand is known for their poured-by-hand, vegan soy wax candles that feature unique aroma combinations, fun jars, and iconic packaging with your name on it.
Their Santal 26 is the leathery, aromatic member of the family perfect for enhancing the ambience of any area. We know not everyone is a fan of citrusy scents, so if you prefer a woodsy vibe to your home, then this is it.
You get notes of vanilla, amber, cocoa, sandalwood, cedar, and musk. The scent throw is immaculate and the fragrance fills the room even at a distance, so I really love using this for a large, open space.
The burn is even and clean, and you won’t have to worry about nasty chemicals because the recipe is free of parabens and preservatives. Did we mention the Santal 26 is Taylor Swift and Beyonce-approved, too?
Pros and Cons of the Le Labo Santal 26
|✔️ Perfect candle for the coffee table |
✔️ Lovely scents of sandalwood, amber, cocoa, vanilla
✔️ Woody notes for a cozy space
✔️ Great scent throw
✔️ Vegan soy recipe
|✖️ Expensive |
✖️ Tunneling issues
Fragrance aficionados, rejoice. Jo Malone’s signature aroma, Lime Basil and Mandarin, also exists in candle form in all its unique, spicy glory. Do take note that we all process scents differently, so a strong fragrance for you might not be as strong for someone else.
Since Jo Malone candles are known to be crazy expensive, I was glad that this one was worth the price — I haven’t even lit the candle yet and it already filled up the room.
I will say it’s not the best aroma for an “untrained nose,” but those who have a wider fragrance palette will appreciate the notes of amberwood and basil. Gift it to a candle-loving friend and watch their eyes light up!
Pros and Cons of the Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin
|✔️ Unique citrus scents |
✔️ Incredibly fragrant with an impressive scent throw
✔️ Great year-round home smell
|✖️ Candle burns can be uneven |
✖️ Expensive price
If you hate overwhelming smells, you might want to go for this tried-and-tested scent to fill your room. Others say it’s underwhelming, we say it’s ideal for giving any room a subtle scent that won’t assault the senses.
Bath & Body Works is my intro to the world of fragrances, including beautiful-smelling lotions, colognes, shower gels, you name it.
So suffice it to say that the Vanilla Bean is a great entrypoint if you want to really get into the world of scented candles. Having 3 wicks makes it less likely to tunnel as well.
Pros and Cons of the Bath & Body Works White Barn Vanilla 3-Wick Candle
|✔️ Light nostalgic scent, ideal home fragrance |
✔️ Larger scent radius
✔️ Less likely to tunnel, burns evenly
✔️ Soy wax blend
|✖️ Can be too one-note|
It’s not a “best of” list without this famous brand. Yankee Candles are great because they’re giant jars of wonderful fragrant goodness, and it’s quite rare that you’ll run out of them a little too soon.
They’re also known to have wonderful scent throw. The problem is certain variants can be a little too overwhelming, which is why I prefer the Pink Sands aroma — it’s light and breezy but can permeate a space like no other.
Pros and Cons of the Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle Pink Sands
|✔️ Large, room-filling aroma |
✔️ Vibrant and refreshing
✔️ Light and breezy
|✖️ A little pricey|
Want the aroma of fresh-cut gardenia in a tiny package? Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day set will remind you of fresh flowers on a day out, or perhaps the scent of clean laundry.
All we know is it’s super nostalgic, homey, and perfect for lazy afternoons you just want to enjoy the little things, like a good book and a cup of coffee.
Pros and Cons of the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Scented Candle Set
|✔️ Homey scent |
✔️ Perfect for freshening up a room
✔️ Not too overwhelming
|✖️ Minimal scent radius|
Nothing quite like dipping into a forest full of fresh berries and dewy brambles. While you might not want to go foraging just yet, the Jo Malone Wild Berry & Bramble variant is sure to give an earthy twist to any indoor living space, transforming an ordinary day into one full of adventure — even just for your nostrils.
Pros and Cons of the Jo Malone London Wild Berry & Bramble Candle
|✔️ Long burn time |
✔️ Doesn’t tunnel
✔️ Safe, non-toxic ingredients
✔️ Great scent throw
Want your dining table, living area, or comfort room to smell like tropical fruits? I’ve found the Voluspa Panjore Lychee blend to be the perfect scent to scatter all over my home, especially now that the summer is about to slip away (noooo).
Juicy Asian pear and notes of lychee make up the base of this coconut wax candle, transporting you to another world with the flickering flame.
The candle makes any room as relaxing as a spa or a tropical island. The tin jar serves as a gorgeous tabletop piece to liven up the place.
Pros and Cons of the Voluspa Panjore Lychee Candle
|✔️ Non-toxic, organic coconut wax candle |
✔️ Soothing smells perfect for relaxation
✔️ Fruity without being too sweet
|✖️ Burn can be uneven with the single-wick variants |
✖️ Strong smell
While humans might enjoy the soothing smell of different candles, being too cavalier can cause other inhabitants of our home to develop health problems. Pets can be sensitive to different smells, too, and synthetic fragrances can cause irritation and even asthma.
The One Fur All Pet House is made of natural soy wax that ensures a clean, safe burn free of toxins that can endanger you and your furry loved ones while eliminating pet odors. Say goodbye to nasty poop smells for good — now your home can smell like cozy lavender green tea.
Pros and Cons of the One Fur All Pet House Natural Soy Candle
|✔️ Beautiful lavender aroma that eliminates pet odors |
✔️ Clean scent from a soy wax candle
✔️ Great gift for pet owners
|✖️ Inconsistent burn time|
Sometimes the very best scented candles aren’t classified by scent, but by budget-friendliness. Honestly, in many cases, there are more important things to buy than a luxury candle. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good one on a budget.
The Glade Candle Jar comes in multiple scents, including Peony & Cherry, Blackberry, Hawaiian Breeze, Bali Sandalwood & Jasmine, and much more. The downside is they use paraffin wax which many candlemakers deem unsafe.
Pros and Cons of the Glade Candle Jar
|✔️ Budget-friendly |
✔️ Fine fragrance
✔️ Warm notes
|✖️ Not great for decorating|
Best Candles Comparison
Soy wax, three-wick, and beeswax — no matter who you are or what your needs may be, there’s sure to be a scented candle for you. Much like perfumes and fragrances, scented candles come in different mixtures of aromas that range from unique to familiar to nostalgic. If you’re looking for one to spruce up your room, we hope this guide has helped you!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the best brand of scented candles?
While our list covers some of the best brands out there, other honorable mentions include:
- Boy Smells. Their Kush scent is a bestseller. Don’t let the name fool you, though — it’s less teenager’s bedroom and more sophisticated flower.
- P.F. Candle Co. There are plenty of goodies to love from PF Candle Co, but their Amber & Moss variant is a clear bestseller.
- Aromatherapy Associates. Their De-Stress Candle says it all.
- Jonathan Adler. Try their Champagne variant for your dose of pink grapefruit and rosy cassis.
- Kith x Malin + Goetz Vapor Candle. Pink pepper and fresh snow is the combination you never knew you needed, until you tried it.
What are the most luxurious candles?
If you’re going to splurge on something, candles are the way to go. We’ve actually included a few “luxury” pieces on this list (peep that Le Labo and Diptyque!), but if you’re craving for more, then check out the Abd El Kader from Cire Trudon, the oldest candlemaker in the world. It’s a beautiful minty fragrance in a jar that is just as elegant as the scent — the perfect conversation starter.
Another recommendation we have is the L’Objet Lapis Candle, a stunning candle that comes in a bright lapis blue jar hand painted with 24k gold accents. On the lid sits a semi-precious blue stone that makes the $150 price tag worth every penny. Even when the candle is long burned out, you’ll want to keep this trinket holder with you for good.
Are Yankee candles really better?
For their average price, some may question whether Yankee Candles really are worth it. It depends on who you ask: those who value the art of candlemaking will tell you that the longevity and quality of materials used justify the price tag. But for some, it doesn’t really make a difference and they’ll tell you to go for a dupe instead.
Among the advantages of Yankee Candles named by its enthusiasts are a longer burn, better wick quality, variety of scents and the wide scent radius. Each one is created and maintained to last longer than your usual candles.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.